Courses

Curt Varone is available to present at seminars, conferences, keynotes, meetings, breakout sessions, and in-service training programs whether in-person or virtually. Email curtvarone@gmail.com for details and availability.

 Open-Enrollment Classes:

Advanced Garrity Issues: Firefighters and the Right to Remain Silent

WebinarDecember 1, 2021   1:00PM Eastern

$75 per person

Information / Register On-Line

Managing Disciplinary Challenges in the Fire Service

December 7-9, 2021 – WEBINAR

E-Z Three-Day Schedule

5 ½  hours a day delivered over three days

Eastern 11am-4:30pm

Central 10am-3:30pm

Mountain 9am-2:30pm

Pacific 8am-1:30pm

Information / Register On-Line

Advanced FLSA: Executive Exemption: Fire Officers and Overtime

Webinar – December 15, 2021  1:00 PM Eastern

$99 per person

Information / Register On-Line

Advanced Disciplinary Issues: Credibility Determinations

Webinar – January 5, 2022  1:00PM Eastern

$75 per person

Information / Register On-Line

Family and Medical Leave Act, Sick Leave Abuse and the Fire Service:

Averting claims of discrimination and retaliation

Webinar – January 12, 2022  1:00PM Eastern

Instructor: Brad Pinsky, Esq., (Fire Chief, ret.)

Information / Register On-Line

Drafting and Implementing an Effective Digital Imagery Policy

Webinar – January 19, 2022  1:00PM Eastern

$75 per person

Information / Register On-Line

AT LONG LAST

Live and In Person

Managing Disciplinary Challenges in the Fire Service

Las Vegas, Nevada

January 26-27, 2022

Hosted by the Clark County Fire Department

Discounted rooms ($42/night) at the nearby Orleans Casino & Resort

Information / Register On-Line

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for Fire Departments

February 15-18, 2022

**WEBINAR**

EZ Four Day Delivery Schedule

6 hours a day delivered over four days

Eastern 11am-5pm

Central 10am-4pm

Mountain 9am-3pm

Pacific 8am-2pm

Information / Register On-Line

Drafting and Implementing an Effective Social Media Policy

Webinar – February 23, 2022  1:00PM Eastern

$75 per person

Information / Register On-Line

Advanced FLSA: Calculating Regular Rate for Firefighters and other First Responders

Webinar March 2, 2022 – 1:00PM Eastern

$99 per person

Information/Register On-Line

Drafting Effective Fire Department Policies and Procedures

March 15-17, 2022 – WEBINAR

EZ Three-Day Delivery

Eastern 11am-4:30pm

Central 10am-3:30pm

Mountain 9am-2:30pm

Pacific 8am-1:30pm

Information / Register On-Line

Advanced Disciplinary Issues: Toxic Employees

Webinar – March 30, 2022  1:00PM Eastern

$75 per person

Information / Register On-Line

Advanced FLSA:  Managing Firefighter’s Hours in the 21st Century – Off the Clock Work

Webinar – TBD  1:00 PM Eastern

$99 per person

Information / Register On-Line

Advanced FLSA:  I Think We Screwed Up, What Do We Do Now?

Webinar – TBD  1:00 PM Eastern

$99 per person

Information / Register On-Line

An important skill set that the modern fire service leader needs involves understanding the law and legal issues that impact our profession.

Managing Disciplinary Challenges in the Fire Service – This 16 hour program is intended for chiefs and fire officers who may have to investigate misconduct by firefighters, as well as union representatives who may need to advise members during an internal investigation. The program looks at the causes for disciplinary problems and explains proven methods for conducting a fair and impartial investigation. Attendees will learn how to organize and conduct an investigation, interview witnesses and preserve evidence, and find the truth while respecting the honorable service that firefighters provide. The course will also look at strategic steps that fire service leaders need to consider when addressing disciplinary issues. Due process, Weingarten, Garrity and firefighter bill of rights laws are thoroughly covered. The program uses numerous case studies pulled from today’s headlines. (Open enrollment or contract)

Drafting & Implementing Effective Fire Department Policies & Procedures

Policies and procedures have become increasingly important to fire departments in our complex, litigious society. Beyond simply reducing liability, effective policies improve operations and enhance the safety and health of firefighters. They are the cornerstone of organizational learning, and have proven to be the best method for incorporating lessons learned into a fire department’s daily operations. Yet the lack of policies is repeatedly cited in NIOSH firefighter fatality reports as a contributing factor in firefighter fatalities. In addition the lack of policies figures prominently in many lawsuits holding fire department liable. This program provides attendees with everything they need to know about researching, drafting and implementing sound and effective fire department policies and procedures. (Open enrollment or contract)

Contract Only:

Leadership Case Studies: Respect in the Workplace

Being a leader has never been easy, but for a variety of reasons it has never been more difficult than it is today. Leaders in all walks of life are confronted with legal, ethical and moral challenges. Fire officers in particular face challenges that arise from the uniqueness of our culture. This program examines a series of case studies merging traditional concepts of leadership, coaching, ethics, liability and responsibility. How does an officer deal with a difficult subordinate, or potentially offensive behavior in the workplace? How does an officer document deficiencies in an employee’s performance without creating a hostile environment? Our officers are well trained in dealing with operational problems that pose liability problems, but are they prepared for the administrative challenges that go with their rank? This program will immerse officers in real-life case studies pulled from today’s headlines. Options for handling difficult leadership challenges will be discussed and debated. Implicit bias, sexual harassment and discrimination will be addressed. Half-day program available on a contract basis (no open enrollment).

Fire Service Report Writing – This program provides an overview of fire service report writing. It combines an understanding of the legal concern associated with report writing coupled with the practical considerations faced by fire officers who must prepare incident and administrative reports. Fire reports, EMS reports, refusals against medical advice, apparatus accident reports, personnel reviews, counseling/discipline forms, and witness statements are all addressed. The distinction between facts and conclusions will be emphasized throughout the program, as will common report mistakes that can result in unnecessary liability for the department and the report drafter.

Digital Imagery and Social Media Challenges in the Fire Service – Digital imagery and social media have been both a blessing and a curse for the fire service, but one thing is undeniable: despite the problems digital imagery and social media are here to stay. The law that applies to social media has been evolving and continues to evolve, with new cases and considerations arising daily. This program addresses the latest digital imagery and social media cases effecting the fire service, and the lessons learned for fire departments and firefighters. Recommendations for policies including specific language to address all legal requirements is provided. A one-day program is available that addresses both digital imagery and social media. A half-day versions are available that address either digital imagery or social media. Stay current on these evolving problems and learn what new concerns your policies need to address.

Firefighter Misconduct:  The Company Officer’s Role & Responsibility – This program combines discipline, leadership, and ethics training with a series of case studies into the leadership challenges commonly face by fire officers. This fast-paced class examines the role that firehouse culture plays in misconduct and offers concrete solutions to officers to avoid derailing their own careers and while protecting their subordinates. This half-day program that can be coupled with other half day programs (Leadership Case Studies, social media, or report writing) to make a full day of training.

Customized training on the following leadership and law related topics:

  • Going Viral: Digital imagery and social media challenges in the fire service
  • Facebook and the First Amendment
  • Firefighter Misconduct: the company officer’s role and responsibility
  • Fire Officer’s Legal Primer
  • Leadership case studies
  • YCMTSU
  • Emails, Electronic Communications and Workplace Privacy
  • Discrimination
  • Sexual harassment
  • Hazing, pranks and bullying
  • Firefighter occupational safety and health
  • Report writing and documentation
  • Courtroom testimony
  • Collective bargaining
  • Legal update – Arson
  • Legal update – Fourth Amendment
  • Legal update – Fire Scene Spoliation
  • Firefighters and the right to remain silent
  • Liability trends and traps
  • Leadership & liability
  • Public Records Law in the Digital Age

Drafting and Implementing an Effective Social Media Policy

Social media has been both a blessing and a curse for the fire service, but one thing is undeniable: social media with all its problems is here to stay. The law that applies to social media has been evolving and continues to evolve, with new cases arising daily.  Emerging are some important principles that fire service leaders and firefighters can use to avoid the pitfalls that can lead to firefighters being terminated or social media policies being struck down.

This program will focus on the latest social media cases affecting the fire service, and the important lessons learned for fire departments and firefighters. These lessons will then be connected to recommended policy language for your social media policy.

Stay current on this evolving problem and learn what new concerns your policies need to address. Social media challenges can be managed through sound, defensible social media polices.

Attendees will receive course materials that include a model social media policy that attendees can customize and use in their department.

  1. Case Studies – Intro
  2. First Amendment Protection
  3. Concerted Activities Protection
  4. Case Studies – Review
  5. Model Policy Language
  6. Training Issues

The class will work through the development of the policy and training needs to supplement the policy. The program is scheduled for 3 hours.

If you are interested in hosting a class in your area, please contact me at jcatlaw@aol.com.

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